Last year the federal government lost 115,000 employees, mostly through retirement and resignation. Among those who left, 75,200 of them were the most knowledgeable and experienced, having served between 10 and 40 years, according to new data.
Among the occupations that lost most talents were operations, medical and public health, investigations and inspections, accounting and budgets, engineering and architecture and business and commerce. The Army, with its wrong-headed push to get rid of workers through buyouts, early outs and layoffs, unsurprisingly posted the highest attrition rate of 8%.
About one third of the employees the government lost since 2008 are veterans – not a surprise since one in four federal employees are veterans and nearly one in two Defense employees are veterans. While the number of people who leave the government has gone up most years since 2009, the number of new hires has gone down every year since 2009.
“What does that mean to the American people?” asks AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. “It means a much longer wait at a government office or a 1-800 number. It means fewer food inspectors, doctors, researchers, engineers, claims processors, psychologists. It means lower public safety and standard of living for every American.”
Recent pay cuts, unpaid furloughs, a government shutdown, and a penalty for new hires have only made things worse, Cox said. “The American people need to stand up to Congress and demand that they stop giving away billions every year to corporations at the expense of public safety and services.”